Erica Johansson Greene visited her family’s home in Seaside during the pandemic for what was supposed to be only a few months. Now, the former New Yorker is proud to call the town she grew up visiting home.
The Seaside Times sat down with the interior designer to talk about her family’s history in the area and how she updated her vacation home while maintaining its history.
What brought you to Seaside?
My entire extended family has been coming to Seaside over 30 years so it's always been a place of respite for us. We have memories of 30A being just an unpaved dirt road. My grandparents split their year here - they lived half the year in Seaside and the other half in Sweden, so I spent many summers here. After I left New York City, I came to the house and quickly saw the huge potential here.
Tell us about the history of your home.
The home was designed by my maternal grandfather, Sture Johansson. It was built on one of the last open lots in Seaside at the time. The lot had originally been intended to be used as a road connecting the street to the forest, where WaterColor is now.
What's your favorite design feature?
The open center atrium in the living room. It's a concept I love for certain homes because it opens up the space and encourages togetherness. This house was designed to maximize communal space and natural light. I also love the tower. It's the perfect spot for a nap or to do yoga, paint or read.
How did your background in design influence the changes you made?
I'm an interior designer, so I updated the home and re-designed all of the furniture. It now feels more contemporary coastal with a lot of Scandinavian influence. I had a strong vision from the beginning and knew what I wanted for the space and what would be appropriate for the setting.
I'm trained architecturally, so my biggest goal was designing to enhance the architecture rather than compete with it. I knew from the beginning that there would be certain local and global parameters to my design process in 2020. I was able to execute my vision because I knew what to expect.
What's your favorite piece of art here?
The painting in the family room is by my grandfather of the Swedish fjords at sunset. I love how warm and serene it feels and it connects us to our Swedish roots.
What's the most unique feature of your house?
The second floor is flanked by bookcases filled with hundreds of hardcover novels - hence the name Mojo Biblio.
What's your favorite Seaside feature?
I love all of the unique pavilions. Every single one has a story. The Coleman pavilion is so iconic.
What's your favorite spot in Seaside?
Ruskin Place looks like a beautiful European street and is so fun to walk through with my dog, Ginger.